Following an impressive high school career as a member of the Bert Church Chargers, receiver Dakota McKay committed to the University of Alberta (UofA) Golden Bears Jan. 4.
After a short recruiting period, where he was considered by a handful of post-secondary institutions, McKay got one of his biggest decisions of his Grade 12 year out of the way and signed on to join the Golden Bears.
“It feels pretty cool, just getting (the decision) over with and knowing what is the future,” McKay said.
“I didn’t want to let (my decision) linger any longer.”
As a student athlete, McKay said he always dreamed of getting the opportunity to use his skills in sports to help him carve a path to university, but didn’t think that goal was achievable until he officially committed to UofA.
He said it was difficult choosing between options, but his decision to join the Golden Bears will be one that pays off in the future.
“I think we’re going to be one of the top (teams) in Canada West, maybe in Canada,” McKay said.
McKay added he had already created bonds with both Golden Bears head coach Chris Morris and offensive co-ordinator Jason Sulz, who were both part of the coaching staff for Alberta’s squad at the 2017 Football Canada Cup (FCC), which McKay took part in.
The receiver said making the Alberta’s FCC roster was a major contributor to continuing his football career as it helped get him noticed by scouts from across Canada.
“Knowing (my coaches), I already know what they like and (what) they like in me,” McKay said.
During his time with the Chargers, McKay progessed from a rookie to a league all-star in his second year with the squad and continued this trend in his final year – becoming one of the top receivers in the Rocky View Sports Association (RVSA).
McKay took on a leadership role in the last two seasons and never gave up on helping the team grow.
He said his time with the Chargers and the midget-level Airdrie Raiders, helped shape him into the player he is, gave him a new view of the game by allowing him to play both sides of the ball, and be looked to as a guy the team can lean on in important situations.
“(This year) put me in a good spot to know all the roles and getting all the experiences,” McKay said. “If you ever talk to my teammates, I want the ball every play.
“Even though they were not the most successful seasons, but still successful in our minds, (that) helped me get prepared for what comes up in a couple of months.”
During his time playing football in Airdrie, McKay was named the Raiders’ Most Valuable Player for 2017, the RVSA Most Outstanding Receiver Award in 2017 and RVSA All-Star in 2016.